Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The witless on the pitiless

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    This includes the mainstream press, and I'm a little surprised that it includes you.

    I regard it as encouraging that the soft left are quite *so* spooked by Hone. That suggests that the Mana Party has a bit of momentum and might get somewhere at the election.

    (You don't get this sort of vilification directed at Penny Bright or Grant Morgan, for instance).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Kracklite,

    During WWII, capturing Hitler would have been an ideal outcome, but far less practical in reality than assassination

    Plenty of pretty heinous Nazis were captured and put on trial.

    That said, I can't imagine a Soviet squad entering the bunker and not firing on sight - although I guess that's not the point either.

    My understanding though is that there was agreement, reluctant on the part of Churchill and Stalin, to put all Nazis on trial if caught alive - Hitler included.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    You don’t get this sort of vilification directed at Penny Bright or Grant Morgan, for instance)

    Penny Bright really doesn’t have a national stage. From those that have been bothered professionally by her (e.g. me, when I worked for the gummint), you would hear plenty of vilification, not so much for what she said but how loudly [ETA and how often] she says it.

    I’ve no idea who Grant Morgan is, so will not vilify him in absentia.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Islander,

    Thanks. I love to hear about etymolygy in Maori language (_pace_ diacritic enthusiasts). It's not something we hear a lot about.

    (Italics not working as I expected: what am I doing wrong?)

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    In the end... Stalin wanted show trials, Churchill would have been happy with summary execution, and this was after victory.

    Assassination during wartime has its precedents, such as that of Reinhard Heydrich and Isoroku Yamamoto. Both could be justified for tactical or strategic reasons - ie. they were active and effective and their deaths served military goals. In the case of the former, I wouldn't gloat, but I wouldn't argue that he didn't deserve it.

    We seem to have taken a step back since Nuremburg, but on the other hand, the ICC in the Hague is now a permanent institution.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    You need two underscores at each end of the word or phrase.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to nzlemming,

    the ravings of L. Ron Hubbard

    You read those , dear boy that's taking things a bit far.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Ah but you don't know that until you take that last step...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to R A Hurley,

    Thanks RA Hurley, you paraphrased my point succinctly with;

    How do we know?

    An argument in which the protagonist is imposing his perception of a third party's thought processes against others' perceptions is always going to be - somewhat moot. When this third party has managed to evade detection for ten years, I'd emphasize - strikingly.

    And if they weren't, that would make him a liar and manipulator of the sincere beliefs of others. Which would be even worse.

    Worse than a genocidal maniac? really? This is romanticism.

    Speech in Washington D.C., June 1, 2004

    "I believe that God wants me to be president."

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to chris,

    <eng lit affiliation>Please do not besmirch the memory of Byron by associating Romanticism with such detachment! :) </eng lit affiliation>

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Kracklite,

    Apologies. I say exactly what I erm think..........................people want to hear.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    Ah, thanks.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Kracklite,

    The Moscow Declaration of 1943 was the basis of the Nuremberg trials. By war's end, I think both the UK and the US had moved on from anything but open trial. Stalin, of course, was unable to conceive of a determination that wasn't centred around a show trial and his advocates were furious at the not-guilties and the sentences that didn't include a rope.

    Then there is this - just to cloud matters.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    One of the paradoxes of such classified equipment is that on the one hand it offers an advantage, but on the other, if one is shot down, the wreckage can be analysed by an enemy, so there is often reluctance to deploy the very best, gee-whizz hardware.

    You can bet that the ISI has sold photos and the like to the Russians and Chinese and will be auctioning the actual wreckage to the highest bidder.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to chris,

    Chiding intended in good humour of course...

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Ah, thank you.

    just to cloud matters

    Fog of war and all that.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Absolutely. That's more or less what happened when an F-117 was downed in the Bosnian wars. Ironically, the principles of stealth originated with a Soviet mathematician.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Kracklite,

    Ostensibly sure, but within your lavishly furnished mind who's to say what dark missives lurk...

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to nzlemming,

    Trying now italics.

    (Why didn't it do that before?.... I thought that's what I did.)

    Thanks for your help.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I don't know about god (no really, I don't), but I think this proves beyond all reasonable doubt that hell exists.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to chris,

    My mind, I think, resembles Gormenghast.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The post-WW2 war crimes trials were largely circumscribed by the desire of the Allies to symbolically punish Nazism and Japanese militarism whilst encouraging the rebirth of normal society in Japan and Germany.

    If you took a view of complicity akin to todays peacetime standards, hundreds of thousands would have been jailed or executed (under the actual denazification measures in Western Germany, 90,000 were detained and 1.9mln banned for a time from jobs other than manual labour. If similar measures had been attempted in Japan, the numbers may have been much larger.)

    On the other hand, by requiring strict evidence and allowing a generous interpretation of the laws of war, one might have been able to argue that some of those executed after Nuremburg (Keitel and Jodl for instance) should not have been.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    Why didn’t it do that before?

    Because...ummm... the Internets? Oh, look! A demonic duck! </me scarpers>

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to recordari,

    I don’t know about god (no really, I don’t), but I think this proves beyond all reasonable doubt that hell exists

    Oh, goodie!! Dualism, my favourite! ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Have you read Gitta Sereny’s Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth? Speer received a 20-year sentence. Her conclusion is that if he had revealed at Nuremburg what he eventually revealed to her, by the standards that others were condemned to death, he would have been hanged too. Evidence that has emerged suggests more knowing complicity than some had assumed, and yet his stance remains, I think, somewhat ambiguous as opposed to being purely duplicitous.

    It’s easy to make sweeping moral judgments for (eg. Boris Johnson) or against (eg. “Bomber”) the killing of ObL with the appearance of absolute certainty as if those accused were fully rational agents, and yet we all lie to ourselves and evil works by clouding and corrupting. I can’t find any means to describe ObL as anything but evil, but that doesn’t mean then that any action against him was purely one or the other – if it was a good act, then he was evil and therefore killing him was a purely good act, or if killing him was a bad act, then he must have been good, or at least not so bad and America is therefore definitely bad… those sort of arguments baffle me and seem self-deluding. The only relatively clear arguments I can see are those that are based on tactical and strategic considerations and those are confused enough.

    Back to the Nazis, the case of Speer, as I interpret it, leads me to a great deal of disquiet over the death penalty under any circumstances, which is very strange considering that the sheer enormity of Nazi crimes and the collective responsibility of all involved (which Speer acknowledged) would initially lead one to assume that there could be no ambiguity.

    I’m struck by two lines from a Neil Jordan film about cycles of revenge in Ireland, Angel :

    Mr Bloom, a policeman: “‘Vengeance is mine’ – who said that?”
    Danny, a revenge killer: “The Lord.”

    There’s the basis of my uncertainty over any killing on moral grounds, even under judicial authority… and I’m not a Christian.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

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